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Kevin Moreno

English 301

Prof. Brody

March 3, 2019

The Social Phenomenon of Unauthorized Immigration

One of the most debated topics of the United States is the topic of illegal immigration.

Illegal immigration is defined as an act of traveling illegally to another country for permanent

residence. Yet, the media only portrays the negative aspects of immigrants and their nationalities.

This is where a magnitude of issues arises, such as stereotyping immigrants and believing they

are affecting the country as a whole. Whereas, many individuals who migrate to this country are

simply trying to give themselves and their families a better lifestyle. Moreover, due to our

complicated immigration system, children are being separated from their families leaving them

with no choice but to be immigrants involuntarily. America promotes the ideal perfect life, and it

reflects a place to accomplish your dreams. Unfortunately, this so-called “American Dream” is

limited to selected individuals. Stories of immigrants and their big dream impact and influence

the community to work hard for a better lifestyle. Many individuals continue to establish the idea

that illegal immigrants cause damage to their societies.

Furthermore, unauthorized immigration “may not be voluntary” per say. Often times

parents decide what is best for their children. Mother of four, Sonia Martinez strives to give her

children a better life but was unable to return to her home in Mexico when trapped in the United

States without a choice (Suarez-Orozcos,). Stories like Martinez’s identify the idea of “push and

pull” factors. For example, Martinez was pulled into the United States when building the concept

of a great lifestyle and economic stability but was pushed back to Mexico because her children
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were unable to join her in the United States. Therefore, push and pull factors determine

immigrants fate in a destined country.

As individuals migrate to a new country they bring with them their cultures and

traditions. For example, a push factor that is established in Ugly Delicious by Rachel Kuo is how

white supremacists are pushing for the idea of anti-immigration while embracing immigrant’s

cultures through foods (Kuo, 2018). Yet immigrants are detained from completely expressing

their culture and are forced to learn new ways of life. For example, immigrants from China are

known to have an abundant variety of exotic traditional food dishes that most Americans have

never heard of. Whereas, when Chinese immigrants come to America they are isolated and

forced to please the white people through new foods that satisfy their idea of culture food.

In my opinion, it is unfair to see the changes immigrants have to make and leave behind their

own cultures and traditions to fit in into a new society. Furthermore, Americans are spoiled while

they have chefs to please their own needs and culturalism ideas. This has led many individuals to

build an entire culture based on “Americanized ideas”. The idea of not enjoying an ethnic dish

due to stereotypes which makes people feel uncomfortable acts as a default setting, for example,

portraying Chinese food as “unclean”. However, we should feel guilty that we are judging a

culture based on what they eat.

In brief, the stories of unauthorized immigrants are filled with disappointing endings due

to the unethical decisions this country has made in order to prevent them from striving for a

better future. As a promising county, we should allow immigrants to feel safe and welcomed to

embrace their unique and vibrant cultures together. Lastly, Kou identifies that David Chang, the

main star from Ugly Delicious does not truly enjoy the different ethnic dishes he is introduced to.
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Overall, not only should we respect individuals as human beings, but also learn to appreciate

their cultures.
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Works Cited

“Fried rice”. Ugly Delicious, season 1, episode 7, 2018, Netflix,

https://www.netflix.com/watch/80191119?trackId=13752289&tctx=0%2C6%2C6ffedb13

-04b6-42fc-b13e-33a73a6cc16b-10720318%2C%2C

Kuo, Rachel. “Digging into the Racial Politics of ‘Ugly Delicious.” Reappropriate.

http://reappropriate.co/2018/05/digging-into-the-racial-politics-of-ugly-delicious/.

Accessed 3 March 2019.

Suárez-Orozco, Marcelo M., Suárez-Orozco, Carola. “How Immigrants Become “Other”

Theories and Constructs of Race. Boston: Bedford Books of St. Martin's Press, 2005.

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